WARRINGTON Museum & Library has reopened to the public following a two-week revamp with a weekend of fun free family activities and new Sunday opening hours.
The venue underwent the revamp in a bid to re-energise the building and transform it into a creative hub – with increased links between the museum and library services.
The project, which has been a joint venture between Culture Warrington and LiveWire, has seen a number of cosmetic changes to the building, in addition to a more integrated approach to activities and opening hours – including Sunday opening for the first time.
Attending the official relaunch was Warrington Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Cllr Maureen McLaughlin and Cabinet Member for Leisure and Community, Cllr Tony Higgins, as well as Warrington South MP Faisal Rashid, Chair of LiveWire Alan Yates and Chair of Culture Warrington Maureen Banner.
Highlights of the opening event included:
• The unveiling of three new murals in the Museum & Library.
• Members of the popular 99th Garrison Star Wars group patrolling the building.
• A ‘Moon-inspired’ dance performance choreographed by Kate Jackson and performed by students from Priestley College – linked in with Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival.
• Poetry performances.
• Star Wars craft activities.
• Artist talk by Pip Woolf about her exhibition Matter of Identity.
• Choir performance by Wired for Sound.
• Dance workshops by Wired: Up Dance Company, a Warrington-based contemporary dance company.
The following day saw the doors open for the first time on a Sunday under the new opening hours aimed at improving accessibility to the building for families.
Warrington Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Cllr Maureen McLaughlin, said: “Warrington Museum and Art Gallery is one of the oldest museums in the country and a vitally important part of our town’s cultural offer. I’m delighted this work, to rejuvenate the building, has been completed. It’s about providing an improved experience for visitors, strengthening the link between the museum and library and delivering a true creative hub which makes Warrington’s rich heritage more accessible for everyone.”
Warrington Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure and Community, Cllr Tony Higgins, said: “We’ve made a commitment to invest in our libraries, and Warrington Central Library is an important part of that. The completion of this work means people of all ages can look forward to an enhanced library experience – from cosmetic improvements and new activity and exhibition spaces, to improved entry and access points and Sunday opening. All of this will be underpinned by collaborative working between the library and museum, bringing the best of creativity, heritage and learning to everyone who visits.”
Emma Hutchinson, Managing Director of LiveWire and Culture Warrington, said: “It was fantastic to reopen the doors of the Museum & Library at the weekend following the two-week revamp. Staff have worked incredibly hard to make some really worthwhile changes and additions to the venues, from a new audio-visual screen in the Library to arranging three stunning new murals that really help bring the building to life. We hope everyone who came along over the weekend enjoyed themselves, and we look forward to a bright and energised future for the Museum & Library.”
For more information visit www.livewirewarrington.co.uk/libraries.